At our New Life staff retreats, and occasionally at our staff meetings, we create “being” experiences with God before our “doing” of the actual work. This importance of grounding our doing out of our being is so critical we look for as many creative ways to keep ourselves grounded in Jesus.
I have received many requests over the years from teams for this material. In response, I provide a sample called “Fire” in The Emotional Healthy Leader book in the “Culture and Team Building”.
The following is another that I have used multiple times over the years and am planning to speak on at our upcoming Emotionally Healthy Leadership 2016 Conference on April 20 and 21.
Feel free to use this personally and with your leadership team.
The miracle of Jesus’ multiplication of the loaves and fishes is the only miracle, besides the resurrection, that occurs in all four gospels. It is that important!
- Slowly, and prayerfully, read the story twice, underlining and taking notes on what speaks to you.
…he (Jesus) said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest…” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place…. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take eight months of a man’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five-and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. (Mark 6:30-43)
- Ask the group: What words or phrases call out to you from this story? (10 minutes)
- Give the group 15-20 minutes alone for personal reflection around the following questions:
Personal Reflection Questions:
- How am I hearing Jesus’ words, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”?
- How am I hearing Jesus’ words, “you give them something to eat”?
- What gifts could I combine with others to answer the question “How many loves have you”
- What is the miracle waiting to happen when I focus on what I have, rather than on what I don’t have?
- Meet in groups of 3 and share together (25 minutes).
- Conclusion: Summarize your applications for the group. The following are mine:
Leaders who remember the loaves:
- Have an abundant, not a scarcity, mentality.
- Redefine abundance as the presence of Jesus and not by external circumstances.
- See beneath people’s anxieties to the deeper work God is doing in and around them.
- Invite people to combine their “loaves” and offer them thankfully to the Father.
- Model a flexible, rhythmic balance of rest and service of others.
When the disciples failed to remember the loaves in the storm, Scripture tells us: They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified…for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened (Mk.7:45-52).
May God grant us grace to remember the loaves and the overflowing abundance of Jesus as we lead!